10 signs to know for Thanksgiving

By Jillian Winn  |  Sunday, November 24, 2013

Here is a themed list of 10 signs to know for Thanksgiving...

#1 Thanks / Thank You

This is what Thanksgiving is all about – giving THANKS for all of your blessings. Don’t forget to say THANK YOU when the gravy is passed!

#2 Native American

The first Thanksgiving was a feast in 1621 at Plymouth Colony between a NATIVE AMERICAN tribe, called the Wampanoag, and the Pilgrams. The Pilgrams had left England seeking religious freedom and were early settlers of the North American colony called Plymouth Colony (present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts).

The celebration of this first Thanksgiving meal is about the story of coming together in neighborly friendship and sharing a meal together in peace. It is true these groups came together for this first, friendly feast and the sentiment of celebrating family, friends, and thankfulness is a great tradition. However, for many, Thanksgiving also marks the anniversary of the National Day of Mourning. The National Day of Mourning recognizes the genocide of millions of NATIVE AMERICAN and Indigenous people, theft of their lands, and assault of their culture. Recognizing National Day of Mourning honors Native ancestors and the sacrifices of Native people today. (More information on National Day of Mourning)

#3 Turkey

TURKEY is the most common main dish of Thanksgiving dinner and sometimes Thanksgiving is called “TURKEY Day.”

#4 Ship

In 1620, the Pilgrim SHIP called the Mayflower made the historic voyage from England to the New World. The Mayflower brought about 150 people to North America – 102 passengers from Holland and London plus the SHIP’s officers and crew.

#5 Pumpkin

In addition to turkey, the first Thanksgiving feast included waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, squash, and PUMPKIN. Many of these foods, with the exception of the seafood, have become a part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Many people include PUMPKIN in their Thanksgiving meal by making PUMPKIN pie.

#6 Nuts

Although not one of the foods included in the first Thanksgiving feast, NUTS have become a popular snack during Thanksgiving time and pecan pie is a favorite Thanksgiving dessert for many.  The sign for NUT can be used for all types of NUTS. To be even more specific, use the sign for NUT and then fingerspell the name of the NUT you are talking about.

#7 Pie (and More!)

Whether your favorite is apple, pecan, pumpkin, or sweet potato, make sure you know how to ask for more PIE!

#8 Hungry / Appetite

Talking about all this food is making me HUNGRY! The same sign can be used for HUNGRY and APPETITE. Bring your APPETITE to Thanksgiving dinner and surely you will not leave HUNGRY.

#9 Family (and Friends)

Thanksgiving is extra special when spent with FAMILY and FRIENDS. Our FAMILY and FRIENDS are an important part of what we are thankful for.

#10 Appreciate (and Please)

Giving thanks is all about APPRECIATING what we have, including the people in our lives that make it special. Make sure to show your APPRECIATION for others. Another sign that is Close But Not The Same and can also help you show appreciation is signing PLEASE.


It’s hard to pick only ten signs to know for Thanksgiving! (You may have noticed that I already sneaked in an extra three signs in the list above). There are so many things that people do during Thanksgiving, including EAT, VISIT family, watch FOOTBALL, watch the Thanksgiving Day PARADE, SLEEP, SHOP, and more.  Full Members of Signing Savvy can see our Thanksgiving Word List to learn more signs, practice the signs using the flash cards and quizzing features with the pre-built word list, or create your own word list of Thanksgiving signs.

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